At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks, 288 pages
There are few things Jeremy Marsh was sure hed never do: hed never leave New York City; never give his heart away again after barely surviving one failed marriage; and most of all, never become a parent. Now, Jeremy is living in the tiny town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, married to Lexie Darnell, the love of his life, and anticipating the birth of their daughter. But just as his life seems to be settling into a blissful pattern, an unsettling and mysterious message re-opens old wounds and sets off a chain of events that will forever change the course of this young couples marriage.
So, this is part two of a love story (True Believer), which I didn't read & which didn't matter to me. After reading The Notebook & realising how quick & easy it was, I figured I'd get my only other Sparks novel over & done with. It was okay, but you have to wonder how something like this can be a popular or best seller. It was a simple, cliched story anyone on earth could have written. I don't know. I just didn't get it. Oh well. Its done with & I guess if you are into short & "tearful" love stories, you just might like it. Hmmmm.
Finished: end of August
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, 272 pages
Written in the opaque language of a fable, the novel opens in a nursing home as 80-year-old Noah Calhoun, "a common man with common thoughts," reads a love story from a notebook; it is his own story. In 1946, Noah, newly returned from the war, is trying to forget a long-ago summer romance with Allie Nelson, the daughter of a powerful businessman. Allie, soon to be married, feels compelled to track Noah down. One steamed-crab dinner and a canoe ride later, they fall madly in love again. We then learn that Noah, now aged and infirm, is reading his notebook to Allie in an attempt to jog her memory, severely impaired by Alzheimer's disease, and, miraculously, he succeeds, much to the amazement of the hospital staff. There is something suspect about a romantic relationship that reaches its acme when one of the partners is in the throes of dementia, but then, this is well within the confines of the romance genre--love conquers all, even Alzheimer's, leaving the medical experts (and this reviewer) confounded.
Ok, so I had this book for so long, I don't even have a clue where I picked it up from. I'd seen the movie as a new release & just bawled like a baby through the whole thing. I guess I was expecting more sappiness & tears while I read the book. Working with so many people with Alzheimer's currently, I was in the mood to read something like this. I hate to say it was disappointing. Since when has anyone ever liked the movie MORE than the book??? I just found the book way too condensed for my liking. Yes, a great story, but the movie provided more detail. It was a quick & easy read though & I'd recommend it, if for some reason you haven't seen the movie. My very first Sparks novel ever...which led me to read another.
Finished: sometime in August
White Oleander by Janet Fitch, 496 pages
Astrid is the only child of a single mother, Ingrid, a brilliant, obsessed poet who wields her luminous beauty to intimidate and manipulate men. Astrid worships her mother and cherishes their private world full of ritual and mystery-but their idyll is shattered when Astrids mother falls apart over a lover. Deranged by rejection, Ingrid murders the man, and is sentenced to life in prison. White Oleander is the unforgettable story of Astrids journey through a series of foster homes and her efforts to find a place for herself in impossible circumstances. Each home is its own universe, with a new set of laws and lessons to be learned. With determination and humour, Astrid confronts the challenges of loneliness and poverty, and strives to learn who a motherless child in an indifferent world can be. Tough, irrepressible, funny, and warm, Astrid is one of the most indelible characters in recent fiction. White Oleander is an unforgettable story of mothers and daughters, burgeoning sexuality, the redemptive powers of art, and the unstoppable force of the emergent self.
This book was very, very good. I know its Leanne's favourite & I think this might have been one of the books I picked up in Fort McMurray in June (I can't even remember now!). The main character is so lovely & even though a lot of the places she ends up are overexaggerated & a bit cliche, that doesn't matter. It was such an interesting book with interesting characters.
Finished: sometime in July